We see them everywhere. From law firm commercials on day-time television to Amazon discount days, our days are filled with constant calls to action. Call now! Buy before it’s too late! Get in shape now! Unfortunately, this kind of call to action is not for you. While they may be effective, that efficacy is mostly a product of repetition; when you hear or see something a dozen times a day, you’re going to react – regardless of quality.
So, short of buying airtime on Spotify or ad space on Facebook, how can you effectively motivate your audience to buy, subscribe, or share? It’s simple: research. It may not be the most glamorous, but with the right effort, exerted in the right ways, you’ll be able to rally even the most timid of consumer bases into popping open their wallets and pressing that order button. In the following sections I’ll break down four simple things you need to do in order to make that happen.
I told you it would be simple. While demographic knowledge may seem basic, most people under-prioritize it for exactly that reason. Sure, you know the general outline of who’s reading and sharing, but just how well? One of the most powerful pieces of information you can obtain is a thorough understanding of your target demographic. Who are they? What do they like? What do they dislike? Most importantly, though, what motivates them?
While all of these questions will contribute to creating a strong call to action, it is this last that deserves most of your attention. By devoting time and research into the motivations of your target demographic, you can better employ those motivations to convert readers and foot traffic into customers. If you’re a health and fitness blog looking to sell supplements or protein powders, is your demographic better motivated by arguments for health, or for vanity? Do they care more about looking good or feeling good? If both, how do you balance the two? Before any truly effective call to action can be created, these are the questions you need to ask yourself.
Once you’ve identified to whom you’re talking, and what that demographic most wants to hear, the next step is figuring out how to say it. Is your target demographic mostly academic? Middle-aged and professional? What color is their collar? What generation do they belong to? If you’re trying to motivate millenials, for instance, you’ll likely do best with informed but casual language that carries moral or social undertones.
They don’t just want to buy that car for the heated seats and sun-roof, they want to know about the carbon footprint and the company’s ethics. Selling that same car to a middle-aged, Midwestern businessman with one foot into his mid-life crisis? Adjust your language to focus on aesthetics and zero-to-sixty times. Bold,confident language that makes your customer feel like the man he wants to be. Same car, different demographic, different language. Along with basic demographic understanding, staying conscious of the preferred language of your audience – and then using that language to sculpt a call to action – will close deals and strengthen your consumer base.
The biggest mistake many bloggers and businesses make is with pacing. Most will spin an article full of interesting, engaging content, and then without warning ambush their reader with a call to action. Sure, strong content and a strong call to action will result in converted sales, but in order to fully maximize impact the two cannot simply be strong individually; they must work together toward your goal. Instead of having a stark division between where your content ends and your call to action begins, the transition should be much more gradual, eventually ending on a clear, final note. Lace offer expiration dates into your body text.
Reference growing social trends in your opening statements, not only in your conclusion. By using the language of motivation that you identified earlier, you’ll be able to form a cohesive, thorough argument for why your product or service is an absolute necessity. Ideally, your entire article should be an extended call to action, building toward a succinct and engaging conclusion.
This one can be difficult. Once you’ve gained a solid understanding of your target demographic, their motivations, and their preferred language, it can be easy to take too authoritative a tone. Keep in mind, readers want confident and clear suggestions, not commands.
Rallying cries, by definition, come from a leader. You are leading your audience toward an action, not pushing them into it. Remember these four simple points and you’ll be leading your business into greater sales and more converted traffic in no time.
Founder and CEO of KMM Agency. Yuriy holds an MBA from Columbia College and has over 12 years of branding and online marketing experience. He has a strong passion for creativity, strategic planning and client relationships.